Battery metals: Lithium Australia can make battery cathode materials out of mine waste
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Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) has successfully produced lithium phosphate from waste materials using its own tech.
The company’s SiLeach process converts mine waste to lithium chemicals, before its VSPC solution turns lithium chemicals into high quality lithium-ion battery cathode materials.
The cathode is used to conduct electricity flows out of a battery or device.
“When compared with other lithium chemicals, high-purity lithium phosphate is a winner when it comes to producing [lithium-iron-phosphate] batteries, providing two of the fundamental components for the generation of the cathode while simultaneously eliminating the requirement for lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide,” managing director Adrian Griffin told investors today.
Right now, mined material is processed into lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide, which can be sold to make cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.
But Lithium Australia has now found a way to remove impurities from lithium phosphate.
This means it can produce an “exceptionally high-purity” refined product, suitable for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries – particularly batteries with lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry.
Another advantage of Lithium Australia’s method is that it improves battery performance, according to the company.
The refined lithium phosphate was used to manufacture cathode powder and subsequently lithium-iron-phosphate coin cells.
These cells were then subjected to a standard testing regime and the results compared with industry benchmarks and VSPC’s most advanced cathode powders.
Lithium Australia said the results indicated that the refined lithium phosphate was an ideal component for the manufacture of high-performance lithium-iron-phosphate cathode powders.
“The lithium phosphate refining process is cheap, effective and provides the means to produce high-purity materials with consistent quality,” Griffin said.
“These properties are of paramount importance as we work with leading Chinese battery producer, DLG, to commercialise VSPC cathode powder.”
Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) shares went for a nice run today, gaining 25 per cent after saying it had hit 90m at 1.3 per cent lithium at its Kathleen Valley project in WA. This means the junior explorer has now defined high-grade lithium over 900m, including a thick 600m-plus long feeder zone.
Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has locked in a $15m equity facility with energy and resources-focused investment fund Long State Investment. The junior explorer has also raised $608,700 in a recent share purchase plan and says it has received a commitment from strategic investor, Chia Tai Xingye International, for a $1.7m placement.
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